Maritime

Schlumberger Completes Multipurpose Vessel Seismic Acquisition Survey for Roc Oil in Malaysia

Schlumberger has announced that WesternGeco has completed a hybrid seismic acquisition survey using their newly deployed multipurpose vessel (MPV)—a first in the industry. The 340 km2 3D seismic survey was acquired offshore Sarawak, Malaysia, for Roc Oil using a triple source array with simultaneous recording by ocean-bottom nodes and a towed-streamer spread, all from a single seismic vessel.

8Sclumberger WG Vespucci DSCF1754 cr WGWG Vespucci MPV. Photo credit: Ulstein

The WG Vespucci MPV acquired the high-quality ocean-bottom seismic (OBS) data required around existing platform obstructions supplemented by streamer seismic data. Simultaneously acquiring the OBS and streamer data without having to employ multiple acquisition vessels and crews resulted in cost reduction and greater efficiency while achieving the survey objectives.

“Providing a hybrid OBS and streamer acquisition option with our multipurpose vessel versus a traditional OBS or towed streamer survey gave the customer a versatile and cost-effective solution to better fit their specific challenges and budget,” said Maurice Nessim, president, WesternGeco, Schlumberger. “This industry-first acquisition underscores our commitment to offering our customers innovative approaches to offshore seismic acquisition challenges.”

The WG Vespucci is one of three newly configured MPVs in the WesternGeco fleet. The WG Tasman and WG Cook are equipped with Q-Seabed* multicomponent seabed seismic systems.

BW Offshore: BW Catcher Commenced Transit to the North Sea

9BWOffshoreBW Offshore has announced the sail away of the FPSO BW Catcher. The vessel has left Keppel Shipyard in Singapore and is currently in transit to the Catcher field in the central North Sea.

BW Catcher is expected to reach UK waters early in the fourth quarter, depending on prevailing weather conditions. Upon its arrival, BW Catcher will commence a seven-year fixed term contract, with extension options of up to 18 years, with Premier Oil. Based on a field life of 10 years, the contract value is USD 2.3 billion including FPSO charter rate and opex.

“The BW Catcher has been completed on time and within budget, and we are especially pleased with the good HSE performance during the construction project. We have worked over 11 million man hours without a lost time injury and in total around 19 million man hours. The FPSO is now underway to the North Sea for hook-up at the Catcher field, and with first oil scheduled later this year,” said Carl K. Arnet, the CEO of BW Offshore.

BW Catcher has an oil storage capacity of 650,000 barrels and a processing capacity of 60,000 barrels per day. The FPSO has a design life of 20 years of uninterrupted operations, and will be moored using a Submerged Turret Production system.

Crowley Supports Stampede Platform Tow-Out and Installation in Gulf of Mexico

Crowley Maritime Corp.’s ocean class tugboats and 455-series high-deck strength barges recently played an integral role in the safe, successful tow-out and installation of Hess’ Stampede tension-leg platform (TLP) in the deep waters of the U.S. Gulf.

Demonstrating both nearshore and offshore capabilities, six Crowley vessels worked together alongside other third-party assets to deliver the oversized, overweight platform, tendons and other equipment from the Kiewit facility in Ingleside, Texas, to the site of the Stampede floating production facility, about 150 miles offshore in 3,400 feet of water.

3 1STAMPEDE STAGE1 CrowleyjpegPhoto credit: Crowley Maritime Corp.

In the first stage, Crowley’s ocean class tugboat Ocean Wind and the 455-series barges 455-3, 455-5 and 455-7 worked together with other contracted vessels to deliver from Kiewit to the offshore site many 300-foot sections of nine 3,400-foot tendons that would secure the TLP to the seabed. From there, the company’s Ocean Sun and Ocean Sky, along with several third-party tugs, towed the TLP through the Ingleside Channel to offshore waters. After a scheduled brief stop at a holding location, the convoy of vessels began the second stage of the tow in offshore waters.

3 2STAMPEDE STAGE1The Ocean Sun, Ocean Sky and two third-party anchor-handling tugs safely towed the Stampede hull for four days before reaching the project site.

Upon arrival, Crowley’s tugboats began the third phase of work, positioning and stabilizing the platform using the tugs’ dynamic positioning capabilities while the TLP was secured to the tendons. Crowley positioned the tugs in a stationary star pattern and used their tow wires to hold the platform steady in the middle. After Hess and its installation contractor, Heerema, completed installation and the platform was made storm safe, Crowley’s assets were demobilized and returned to nearshore waters.

“The tow-out and installation support work we provided was highly successful,” explained Crowley’s Mike Rampolla, general manager, offshore services. “This project was an excellent example of the types of projects Crowley’s offshore and heavylift personnel and assets are ideally suited for. We have several future jobs in the pipeline and look forward to bringing our full capabilities together to ensure successful outcomes for our energy customers.”

Crowley’s ocean class tugs are modern ocean towing twin-screw vessels with controllable pitch propellers (CPP) in nozzles, high-lift rudders and more than 147 metric-ton bollard pull. The first two ocean class vessels, Ocean Wave and Ocean Wind, are classed as Dynamic Positioning 1 (DP1) tugboats and are twin-screw tugs with an overall length of 146 feet, beam of 46 feet, hull depth of 25 feet and design draft of 21 feet. The second two tugs of the class, Ocean Sky and Ocean Sun, are classed as DP2 and are 10 feet longer. All four vessels are capable of rig moves, platform and Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) unit tows, emergency response, salvage support and firefighting.

The Stampede site is the largest undeveloped field in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico and, once operating fully, the floating production facility will have capacity for some 80,000 barrels of oil per day.

Simulation Makes Perfect when Manoeuvring Shell’s Prelude FLNG Facility

At 488m in length, and longer than four football pitches, Shell’s Prelude FLNG facility was always going to represent a formidable challenge even for the skilled tug masters who were charged with towing the facility from the shipyard in South Korea where it was constructed, and delivering it to its final destination, a remote gas field 475 kilometers off the coast of Western Australia.

9 1HR Wallingford simulation left and photograph by Shell right of the Prelude tow with POSH tugs HR Wallingford simulation (left) and photograph by Shell (right) of the Prelude tow with POSH tugs

But practice makes perfect, and HR Wallingford, using its Australia Ship Simulation Centre in Fremantle, W.A., created an accurate and detailed navigation simulation of Prelude for Shell, which was used to prepare the Tow Masters, Tug Masters and Pilots, allowing them to familiarise themselves with a realistic simulation of Prelude manoeuvres at sea. And on 25 July 2017, Prelude arrived safely at its destination in the East Browse Basin.

HR Wallingford’s involvement in the project extends to the real-time navigation simulation for the facility’s departure from the Geoje Shipyard in Korea, along the Busan Channel; positioning and mooring Prelude once on site; conducting berthing and departure simulations of the LNG, LPG and condensate offtake tankers that will moor alongside the FLNG; and providing ongoing pilot and tug master training in the Australia Ship Simulation Centre in Fremantle.

HR Wallingford also created and provided to Shell Australia a bespoke, web-based decision support tool, to assist with operations planning.

Dr.Mark McBride, HR Wallingford’s Ships Group Manager, said: “There was a need to assess many aspects of this unique offshore floating facility, which included the manoeuvring issues associated with the arrival and departure of the offtake LNG carriers. For this we used real time navigation simulation, so that we could identify the limiting conditions for safe manoeuvring, as well as the tug requirements, and for developing appropriate manoeuvring strategies.”

9 2HRWallingford Capt Mike Johnson tug master Prelude LNGCaptain Mike Johnson, Tug Master, in the HR Wallingford simulator

Up to six integrated simulators at the Australia Ship Simulation Centre were used to simulate the FLNG facility and the tugs for the shipyard departure operation, and for the positioning during connection of the FLNG’s mooring lines, once at its installation site. Actual wind, wave and tidal conditions were recorded, and then modelled, which meant that the crew were able to accurately test the capability and power of the tugs in advance. The simulated positioning operation was used to prepare for the real-life operation in which the tugs were attached to the FLNG facility by 700-metre-long wires, weighing approximately 30 tonnes each.

Captain Roy Lewisson, Master of the Deep Orient, the vessel that connected Prelude to its 16 mooring lines, and who took part in the simulator training said: “Being able to accurately test the manoeuvring beforehand was a real advantage. Never before in oil and gas history have we had the chance to practice in the simulator before we get on the water.”

The Prelude FLNG facility is expected to develop gas fields for the next 25 years, extracting natural gas from wells, which is liquefied and chilled to −162 °C. Offloading liquefied natural gas from large FLNG facilities provides a significant innovation, cutting costs and eliminating the need for long pipelines to onshore LNG processing plants.

28% of Offshore Vessels Currently Laid Up

15Percentage of Offshore Fleets Laid UpUsing VesselsValue's Offshore mapping service VV@, Senior Offshore Analyst Charlie Hockless has put together a snap shot showing the percentage of the offshore fleet currently laid up. Across all offshore types, 28% of the fleet is currently laid up, with PSVs topping the table with 36% of their fleet currently laid up.

Mr. Hockless explains the definition of 'laid up' used in this context: 'Estimating the number of vessels in lay-up is an imperfect science, however, using a big data approach VesselsValue can provide a valid estimation using the following methodology. VV observes the recency of a vessel's AIS signal and filters the data appropriately. Vessels that have not signaled for over a week are considered to be in lay-up.'

The VesselsValue offshore database includes:

  • Offshore Support Vessels (PSV, AHTS, AHT, FSV, Ocean Going Tug and ERRVs)
  • Offshore Construction Vessels (Pipe layer, Cable Layer, Well Intervention, Dive Support Vessels, MPSV, Floatel, Accommodation Ship, Crane, Lift Boats, SOV, Utility Vessel)
  • Mobile Offshore Drilling Units (Drillship, Semi submersible, Jack Ups)

 

VOS Start W2W Vessel Departs Damen Shiprepair Oranjewerf Following Major Upgrade

13Damen Shiprepair Oranjewerf 2Damen Shiprepair Oranjewerf (Oranjewerf) has bid farewell to VOS Start, Vroon BV’s first DP2, subsea-support, walk-to-work (W2W) vessel. The 80m VOS Start arrived at Oranjewerf on 1 June from her build yard in China for the installation of a motion-compensated gangway system - the first of its kind - by Barge Master and Bosch Rexroth, the extended installation of a Kongsberg reference system (including a ‘windfarm module’), and an active heave-compensated crane from SMST. In the eight weeks that she was in the yard, the vessel also underwent a wide range of other upgrades and preparations for her first charter.

The VOS Start is the fourth in a series of new vessels for Vroon that they have brought to Oranjewerf for finishing off following their initial build in China. However, this is the first time that Damen Shiprepair Oranjewerf and Vroon have worked together on a W2W vessel and, with Barge Master and SMST both Dutch companies, it was logical to do the final installations in the Netherlands with all the necessary expertise and support close by. Other local specialist suppliers also contributed to what has been, owing to the W2W element, the most complex upgrade yet for a VOS subsea support vessel at Oranjewerf.

These specialists included Niron Staal Amsterdam, another member of the Damen Shipyards Group, which fabricated two boat landing ladders which were then installed by Oranjewerf. Other equipment installed include a Lightweight Taut Wire, Radius and a Hipap position reference system, all manufactured by Kongsberg. The mountings necessary for up to eight temporary living units, supplied by H2M, were also fitted, along with many other modifications.

“As always, completing the works within the time allowed was a challenge,” says Jeen van der Werf, Commercial Manager at Damen Shiprepair Oranjewerf. “Detailed planning prior to the vessel’s arrival ensured that no time was wasted and everyone worked efficiently and effectively. Double shifts were worked when needed and on occasions activity continued around the clock to ensure that progress remained on schedule. Oranjewerf is particularly well-suited for this project, due not just to the capabilities of its workforce, but also to the extensive craneage on its berths and space on the quays for the largest mobile cranes.” The VOS Start was also placed in Oranjewerf’s 135m floating dock for a period to allow the installation of the boat landings.

VOS Start’s first project will be a charter to MHI Vestas Offshore Wind for the construction of the Walney Extension Offshore Wind Farm in the Irish Sea. There she will provide logistics support, accommodation and W2W capability.

BOURBON Joins Automated Ships Ltd and KONGSBERG To Deliver Groundbreaking Autonomous Offshore Support Vessel Prototype

3Bourbon KM Hronn July2017 01Leading marine Offshore services company, BOURBON has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Automated Ships Ltd to support the building of the world’s first autonomous, fully-automated and cost-efficient prototype vessel for offshore operations, in collaboration with the project’s primary technology partner, KONGSBERG.

BOURBON will leverage its expertise in building and operating a standardised fleet to provide detailed input to the development and design of the Hrönn project, ensuring flexibility, reliability and cost efficiency to operate safely and effectively in the demanding offshore environment. Based on its customer experience, BOURBON will thus help to match client demand.

In the second phase of the project, BOURBON and ASL will join forces to search the subsidies to finance the effective construction of the prototype.

Hrönn is a light-duty, offshore utility ship servicing the offshore energy, hydrographic & scientific and offshore fish-farming industries. It can also be utilised as a ROV and AUV support ship and standby vessel, able to provide firefighting support to an offshore platform working in cooperation with manned vessels. Automated Ships Ltd has progressed the original catamaran design of Hrönn since the project launch on 1st November 2016, opting for a monohulled vessel of steel construction, to provide more payload capacity and greater flexibility in the diverse range of operations.

BOURBON’s entry to the Hrönn project, follows the recent news that it has joined forces with KONGSBERG in a new collaboration to develop digital solutions for next generation connected and autonomous vessels. The two companies will execute joint projects to develop new ways of efficient operations in the offshore services industry, with a fast time-to market.

KONGSBERG will contribute its technology expertise and deliver all major marine equipment necessary for the design, construction and operation of Hrönn, including all systems for dynamic positioning and navigation, satellite and position reference, marine automation and communication. Its vessel control systems including K-Pos dynamic positioning, K-Chief automation and K-Bridge ECDIS and Radar will be replicated at an Onshore Control Centre, allowing full remote operations of Hrönn.

Hrönn’s Sea trials will take place in Norway’s officially designated automated vessel test bed in the Trondheim fjord and will be conducted under the auspices of DNV GL and the Norwegian Maritime Authority (NMA). The Hrönn will ultimately be classed and flagged, respectively.

“In this era of digitalization of industrial services, we are pleased to join this forward-looking project thus demonstrating the positioning of BOURBON as a world reference in terms of operational excellence and customer experience,” said Gael Bodénès, Chief Operating Officer, BOURBON Corporation.

“BOURBON is a world leading marine services company and we are confident that alongside KONGSBERG as technology lead, they will provide a valuable contribution to the design and operation of Hrönn,” said Brett Phaneuf, CEO, Automated Ships Ltd.

“We are pleased to be collaborating with such expert partners in the development of Hrönn, a vessel that will show how digitalisation and autonomy have the potential to revolutionise the offshore services market,” said Stene Førsund, EVP Global Sales and Marketing, Kongsberg Maritime.

Shell Purchases Deep-Water Production and Storage Vessel from SBM Offshore

6Shell Turritella FPSO offshore Gulf of Mexico Original 8702 768x432Shell Offshore, Inc. announces that its affiliate, Shell E and P Offshore Services B.V., will exercise a contractual right to purchase the Turritella floating, production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel from SBM Offshore. The vessel is contracted for the Stones deep-water development in the Gulf of Mexico, which began production last year. Shell and SBM will work over the next several months to achieve a safe, smooth transition of the vessel operations.

Transitioning the ownership and operations of the vessel to Shell affiliates allows the company to pursue additional efficiencies and achieve cost improvements to deliver shareholder value at Stones with a continued commitment to operational excellence and safety. The Stones development is the world’s deepest offshore oil and gas project and is scheduled to deliver approximately 50,000-barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d) by the end of this year.

The Turritella FPSO has a daily production capacity of approximately 60,000 barrels of oil and 15 million cubic feet of natural gas and fits well within Shell’s global, deep-water portfolio, which includes operations in the Gulf of Mexico, Brazil, Nigeria, and Malaysia. Competitive, deep-water oil resources are a growth priority for Shell with global production expected to reach more than 900-thousand boe/d by the early 2020s.

Currently, Shell has three additional Gulf of Mexico deep-water projects under construction – Appomattox, Kaikias, and Coulomb Phase 2 – as well as options for additional subsea tiebacks and Vito, a potential, new hub in the region.

GE to Provide a Suite of Marine Technologies to One of the World’s Most-Advanced Deep-Water Diving Support Vessels

8GE DSVPurpose-designed for a range of roles including deep-water salvage operations, deep-water pipelay and construction as well as a saturation diving capability for up to 24 divers in two bells, Shanghai Salvage Bureau’s new ship is a testimonial to the demand for top-rated technology and equipment of the highest reliability.

Recently, GE’s Marine Solutions (NYSE: GE) has been chosen by Shanghai Salvage Bureau (SSB), one of the largest rescue and salvage companies in the world, to provide a suite of marine technologies including power and propulsion equipment, dynamic positioning (DP) and automation and control systems to its newest deep-water dive support vessel (DSV). The vessel will become the world’s first deep-water DSV with a multi-saturation diving system. Once delivered, it will enable diving operations to be performed at depths of up to 500 meters and salvage work at 6,000 meters.

“This vessel will be the best of its class anywhere in the world. The sophisticated electrical system, including an innovative closed-ring arrangement of the propulsion switchboard, is a top priority for us to achieve our design goals. Undoubtedly, reliability of the technology onboard the ship is of paramount importance, and that requires an experienced partner,” said Mr. Huang Yan, project director, SSB. “We are pleased to work with GE to ensure that the deep-water DSV will be one of the most advanced of its kind in the world.”

Particularly in the tough offshore environment and in challenging weather, keeping the vessel “on station” and enabling smooth deep-water operations makes the DP system a critical component.

The vessel will feature GE’s latest technology—SeaStream™ DP system (Class 3). Using multidirectional thrusters and sensors to monitor real-time wind, current and wave conditions and automatically activate the propulsion units to counteract the environmental forces, the technology will enable the ship’s position and orientation to be safely and efficiently controlled.

GE’s deep-domain expertise in DP has also extended its capability to include fuel usage optimization. GE’s Ecomagination™ energy-efficient mode uses advanced algorithms to optimize vessel heading and optimize the number of generators needed for operation, further reducing power consumption, operational costs and emissions.

In addition, the vessel will be powered by an electric power and propulsion system, including GE’s 4,656-kilowatt generators, switchboards and medium-voltage frequency drive propulsion controllers as well as a vessel automation and control system, all configured for optimum power and propulsion performance. The main propulsion switchboard will be arranged in a closed-ring configuration to get to maximum efficiency and availability.

The ability to provide the full spectrum of marine solutions—from power and propulsion to navigation and positioning and automation and control—within one integrated package is also a key reason why GE was chosen.

“Thanks to the GE Store, we are able to provide a suite of marine technologies through a blend of high competence in one integrated package,” said Tim Schweikert, president & CEO, GE’s Marine Solutions. “This is one of the landmark projects in the offshore marine industry, and we are excited to be part of the journey”

Damen Finalizes Keppel Verolme Takeover

13Damen Contract signing lowres 1Damen Shiprepair & Conversion (DSC), a part of Damen Shipyards Group, has announced the acquisition of the Keppel Verolme shipyard from Keppel Offshore & Marine.

DSC’s acquisition of the yard follows an initial agreement made between the two parties in April of this year. From 1 July, the Keppel Verolme shipyard, including its 250 staff members, will continue operations under the Damen flag.

“We look forward to joining forces with the Verolme yard and its people. The facilities and personnel are complementary to our existing organisation. This acquisition will enable us to serve our existing clients even better while opening up new opportunities,” says Durk-Jan Nederlof, Managing Director of Damen Shiprepair & Conversion.

With three dry docks – the largest of which measures 405 x 90 metres – and almost 2km of quay capacity, the Verolme yard, located in Rotterdam’s Botlek harbour, will significantly expand DSC’s portfolio. DSC already operates eight repair and conversion yards in the Netherlands and another eight abroad.